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Elderly man and young child holding hands and smiling.

Luis is a young man in his early twenties who first came to the Abbey as a child with his mother many years ago. This is part of a series of writings he is working on as he searches for the meaning of love. Here he writes about suffering: 私達は他人の苦しみに同情するべきだ。 [We should feel for the pain of others.]

Humans experience joy,
Humans experience sorrow,
One bringing times of relief,
Another bringing times of trials

Clarity of truth is often masked by ignorance,
It being the greatest enemy,
A cruelty worse than the greatest of torture,
A prison perpetuating endless confusion

Truth comes not from self-ordained absolutism,
An idol that seeks to deny novelty,
An idol that seeks to graven experiences,
An idol that seeks to deify itself

Truth is slowly unraveled through compassionate understanding,
Connecting to the hearts of others,
Sensing the formation of their own truths,
Realizing them to be sprouted from their own suffering

Instead of seeking absolute truths,
Understand the truths of your fellow beings,
Ease their suffering in times of joy and sorrow,
True growth blossoms from connected empathy

Featured image courtesy of Daihorin-Kaku.
Venerable Thubten Chodron

Venerable Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood and practiced by Westerners. She is well known for her warm, humorous, and lucid teachings. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in 1977 by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche in Dharamsala, India, and in 1986 she received bhikshuni (full) ordination in Taiwan. Read her full bio.

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